Mercedes Debuts Acceleration Subscriptions for EQE, EQS

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Mercedes-Benz has announced the Performance Acceleration On-Demand over-the-air update (OTA) for the all-electric EQS and EQE. While the update has the potential to boost output by as much as 80 horsepower on the EQS 450 4Matic, we doubt people will be singing its praises because the update is actually an upgrade that you'll have to purchase.

The Acceleration On-Demand “update” charges customers to add 60 horsepower to the EQE 350 4Matic and 80 hp to the EQS 450 4Matic — yielding some enviable changes in performance.

Mercedes claimed buying into the option reduces the EQE 350 sedan's launch from zero to 60 mph from 6.0 seconds to just 5.1 seconds. Meanwhile, the EQS 450 4MATIC sedan drops from 5.3 to 4.5 seconds, while the EQS 450 4MATIC SUV can shave off roughly a second to reach 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds.

But it’s not free. On EQE 350 models, the upgrade costs $60 per month, $600 per year, or $1,950 for the vehicle's lifetime. By contrast, the beefier EQS 450 upgrade is $90 per month, $900 per year, or $2,950 for the vehicle's lifetime.

We suppose that’s not an unreasonable price for the kind of power you’ll be getting if you actually had to wrench on the thing. However, nothing has been done to the vehicles other than the manufacturer remotely tweaking the code to unlock something that was presumably already available. It’s also worth noting that the EQS starts above $100,000.

News broke that this scheme would be forthcoming in the latter half of 2022 (though we didn’t know all the details) and Mercedes has been experimenting with subscription models for quite some time. But it’s not something that’s limited to one manufacturer. We’re seeing numerous car companies trying to control who has access to customer data by snubbing services like Apple CarPlay and leveraging vehicular connectivity to obfuscate the very concept of private ownership.

Your author has been moaning about this kind of stuff for years. Despite occasional assertions from the peanut gallery that this was tinfoil-hat nonsense, the writing has been on the wall for ages. Entertainment companies have been trying to move away from physical media for years in an effort to con you into paying for it repeatedly via subscription models. But the assumed profitability of endlessly charging customers for items has caught on and now everyone is dabbling with the concept of products-as-a-service (PaaS).

If you’re unfamiliar with the premise, it basically focuses on the financial outcomes of the way something can be “sold” instead of the product itself. It usually manifests when businesses attempt to tack subscription services onto a physical product or totally re-imagine how goods are owned — with the end result always leaving control in the hands of the manufacturer. The whole thing is heavily reliant on the connectivity and the internet of things (smart devices) to function and likewise doubles as a way for companies to harvest customer data — which can be sold off as an additional revenue stream or utilized to improve services.

The automotive sector, which now seems to fancy itself an extension of the tech industry, also began pivoting in this direction when CEOs started harping on electrification and the alleged importance of “connected mobility.” The industry has been going ape shit ever since, often to the chagrin of customers.

If you’re someone interested in ensuring the proliferation of the above concepts, the Acceleration Increase On-Demand is available through the Mercedes me connect app. The store currently offers a handful of upgraded features that leverage hardware the car is already equipped with and is supposed to get much bigger in the months ahead.

[Image: emirhankaramuk/Shutterstock]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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3 of 9 comments
  • Yuda Yuda on Apr 27, 2023

    Holy crap that's friggin terrible

    It's like... If I buy a product,.I better be able to use it 100%

    Time to jailbreak and remove microchips then

    • Sgeffe Sgeffe on Apr 28, 2023

      I wonder if people will try to hack the vehicles if the car companies try to get away with this nonsense!

  • Notapreppie Notapreppie on May 11, 2023

    That's a hard no from me, Chief.

  • Michael Gallagher I agree to a certain extent but I go back to the car SUV transition. People began to buy SUVs because they were supposedly safer because of their larger size when pitted against a regular car. As more SUVs crowded the road that safety advantage began to dwindle as it became more likely to hit an equally sized SUV. Now there is no safety advantage at all.
  • Probert The new EV9 is even bigger - a true monument of a personal transportation device. Not my thing, but credit where credit is due - impressive. The interior is bigger than my house and much nicer with 2 rows of lounge seats and 3rd for the plebes. 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, around 300miles of range, and an e-mpg of 80 (90 for the 2wd). What a world.
  • Ajla "Like showroom" is a lame description but he seems negotiable on the price and at least from what the two pictures show I've dealt with worse. But, I'm not interested in something with the Devil's configuration.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I really like the C-Class, it reminds me of some trips to Russia to visit Dear Friend VladdyPoo.
  • ToolGuy New Hampshire